Just a 10-minute ride from Waikiki, Kaimuki is the antithesis of mall culture. An eclectic mix of street front shops and restaurants, it’s one of the few places in urban Honolulu that entices you to park the car and stroll the flavorful businesses that give Kaimuki its distinctive ambience.
One of the flagship culinary destinations in Kaimuki is Town, run by culinary maverick Ed Kenney whose “local first, organic whenever possible and always with aloha” mantra should give you a hint of what you’ll find there. Rustic preparations of homemade gnocchi, house cured meats and an only-in-Hawaii dish of paiai, a grilled taro cake made with fresh local poi and topped with a pan-fried steak. The menu changes daily.
I thought it only fitting we celebrate Ed’s “local first” approach by sharing a few of his favorite neighborhood haunts.
Maguro-ya is a neighborhood Japanese restaurant specializing in sushi, especially ahi (maguro in Japanese) Says Ed “Goro-san is a master in the art of sushi and the ingredients are always top notch”
Duk Kee is the quintessential Chinese restaurant in Hawaii, where local Chinese families have gathered since their grandparent’s hey day. “I’ve been eating the wor tun mein here since my childhood and it always the same – delicious” recommends Ed.
Super-Pho, A noodle addict Kenney comes here for the steaming hot pho – a Vietnamese rice noodle soup topped with fresh garnishes of bean sprouts, Thai basil and a selection of various meats.
Okata Bento blink and you’ll miss it, this tiny take-out has been around forever, serving local style Japanese bento. Kenney recommends the combo plate of tonkatsu and mahi mahi “and they have green river on tap” says Ed.
Imanas “My favorite restaurant in Honolulu” proclaims Ed. Enough said.
View more images and get a listing of Kaimuki shops and restaurants at ShareYourTable.com/Kaimuki.
More recommendations by Ed Kenney and other top Hawaii chefs can be downloaded to your iPhone What Chefs Eat.
About Melanie Kosaka
Melanie Kosaka is the founder of ShareYourTable.com a food and culture site exploring Hawaii from seed to plate and the co-founder of What Chefs Eat iPhone app bringing dining recommendations from Hawaii top chefs to your phone.